This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
Energy Officials Promote Solar, Biofuels, and Hydrogen Initiatives
DOE officials traveled around the country in late February to promote various aspects of President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman highlighted President Bush's Solar America Initiative during a visit to GT Equipment Technologies, Inc., which designs, manufactures, and assembles equipment for the solar power and semiconductor industries. The Solar America Initiative seeks to accelerate the widespread acceptance of clean solar energy technologies throughout the United States by 2015. The goal of the initiative is to generate enough solar energy by 2015 to provide 5 to 10 gigawatts of electricity, enough to power 1 to 2 million homes. See the DOE press release and the Solar America Initiative page on the DOE Solar Energy Technologies Program Web site.
Secretary Bodman also visited General Motors Fuel Cell Activities to highlight the President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative. The President's budget for fiscal year (FY) 2007 includes $289.5 million for the initiative, a 22 percent increase. In addition, Douglas Faulkner, the Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, spoke about the President's Biofuels Initiative at the Biomass and Switchgrass Conference at Alabama's Auburn University. The initiative aims to make cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive by 2012, offering the potential to displace up to 30 percent of our nation's current fuel use by 2030. The President has requested $150 million for the Biofuels Initiative in his FY 2007 budget, a 60 percent increase. Finally, Karen Harbert, Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, toured the Steelcase Wood Plant in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center. Steelcase Wood Plant is the world's first manufacturing plant to receive a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center is a LEED-certified demonstration facility for distributed power generation, featuring solar roof tiles, a fuel cell, and a nickel metal hydride battery. See the DOE press releases on the visits by Secretary Bodman, Acting Assistant Secretary Faulkner, and Assistant Secretary Harbert.